How to Throw a Porcupine Moving Party
Tips from Sandy Pierre
- Advertise far and wide. The more places, and the farther in advance, you advertise your move, the more people will hear about it either by reading your ads or via word-of-mouth. Good ways to advertise are on the FSP discussion forum, NHFree.com, the NHPorcupines-discuss yahoo group, and via direct email to people who know you. Follow up with reminders closer to the date. Provide a cell phone number so people can confirm at the last minute that there hasn't been a change of schedule.
- Offer food and beer. These appear to be non-negotiable prerequisites for attracting a large group of movers.
- If you're moving within state, or from a close-by state, come to a Porcupine meeting (they take place weekly in locations around the state), stand up and let everyone know you need help. Don't be scared! Despite the anomalous number of openly carried handguns, we're basically a peaceful bunch.
- Be libertarian / pro-small government / classically conservative / Constitutionalist / anarchocapitalist. I would have thought this one would go without saying, but I recently saw a hyperlink on a non-FSP website telling people that if they're moving to New Hampshire, just contact the Porcupines and we'll be happy to help you move in. Wha????
- Schedule your move for a Saturday or Sunday. This makes a huge difference, as most of us *do* have jobs. If possible, don't schedule your move to conflict with an event that many Porcupines are sure to be attending.
- If possible accrue social capital. This is the hardest requirement, and takes long-range planning/effort, and is a bit difficult to concretely define, but there's no denying it plays a role. Let's face it: many of us need a darned good reason to haul ourselves out of bed early on our day off from work, to go out in the pouring rain/blazing sun/blowing snow (I've experienced all three during moving parties) to do manual labor on behalf of someone we probably don't know all that well, if at all. How does one accrue social capital? Well, if you don't have time to read one of the numerous available books on small-town (or in this case, small-state) life in America, or to watch reruns of "Little House on the Prairie", here are some tips:
- Let people get to know you. Attend parties, BBQ's, Porcupine meetings, PorcFest. Even if you're the quiet type, if you just show up on a regular basis, then when it comes time for those in your social network to make that critical decision (do I, or do I not, get out of bed to go move furniture?), people are more likely to think "Aw, he's one of us, guess I oughta". Or if you haven't yet arrived in New Hampshire, actively participate on the discussion forums and Yahoo lists. It's amazing how much you can feel like you *know* someone you've never actually *met*.
- Be a nice person. Unconditional love is for babies, sweetheart. People will want to help those they like; they will be less inclined to help those they dislike.
- Be politically active, in whatever way you define that to be. That *is* the reason we're here after all (by "we", I mean participants and supporters of the Free State Project).
- Help other people move. This is known as "the Golden Rule" (or, if you want to show off, the "Ethic of Reciprocity")
I personally failed to follow many of these tips when it came time to move *my* furniture, and my moving party turnout was... smallish. Since I hope to buy a house next year, I'd better start stocking up now on beer, to be dispensed on a weekend, not to conflict with PorcFest. And oh yeah, get started on that whole "nice person" dealio.
- Sandy Pierre
- Have toilet paper, paper towels, soap and a first aid kit unpacked before the move in starts.
- People will get dirty and will want to wash and refresh during breaks and once everything is moved.
- Have the tools ready to reassemble anything that you disassembled.
- This should include power drills, screwdrivers, mallets, wrenchs etc.
- These should be ready before the truck is unloaded.
- Make sure cables, wires, electrical cords and such are availible to set up your electronics. Odds are there could be someone there who knows how to set this stuff up correctly.
- You may want to set up free-standing lamps in places that don't have ceiling fixtures, and unpack a clock to keep track of the time - especially important if you have deadlines for returning rentals and volunteers who are on a time schedule.
- Have household cleaning products such as a vacuum cleaner, broom, mops, and other cleaning supplies ready.
- Some places are quite dirty from the last residents.
- You may have volunteers offer to help clean up so you can unpack.
- If you have a group of people moving you in you will need to direct people to where your possesions are to go.
- Mark the boxes in some way so you know what room to put the boxes in.
- The biggest help to everyone unloading the truck is someone telling them where to put your stuff.
- Your helpers have no idea where to put stuff so you need to tell them.
- If at all possible get the floor plan, measurements and photos of your new home in New Hampshire.
- As you pack and plan your move you can figure out where to set up your furniture and what you are going to do with your stuff. This will save you a lot of time rearranging everything after the truck is empty.
- If you can make a diagram of where your furniture goes it will save you time and energy. Also you won't have to think about where to put the big items.
- If you have a plan you can just read from it and things will go very smoothly the day of the move.
- Cardboard from large boxes, or moving blankets can be used to protect floors and walls or pad any furniture being moved around tight corners.
- Tall handtrucks with rails on the back for moving up stairs really helps make things easier, avoid injuries, and prevent damage to the furniture, stairs, and walls.
- Please pay it forward. If you get help, you should plan on helping others.
- If 20 people show up to help, yes, you should help 20 others move in... We have some participants who have long 'paid off' any help they got, but they continue to show up and help others. Be one of those, if you can.
Moving again and storage emptying
See Pay it forward. You will get often get help, but we're not a moving service. Be considerate.